Four north Georgia men who were arrested Tuesday relating to plans to obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer and to manufacture the biological toxin, ricin, for use in attacks against other United States citizens and government personnel and officials, made their initial appearance before the Magistrate Judge at the federal court in Gainesville on Wednesday.
According to United States Attorney Yates, criminal complaints, federal search warrants and documents in the public record: Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland; Dan Roberts, 67, of Toccoa, Ray H. Adams, 65, of Toccoa; and Samuel J. Crump,68, of Toccoa, and others were members of a militia organization and began participating in clandestine meetings of a fringe “covert” operations team starting in approximately March of 2011.
During these meetings, the complaints charge that the men discussed multiple criminal activities, ranging from murder, theft, manufacturing and using toxic agents and assassinations in an effort to undermine federal and state government and to advance their interests.
“These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government,'' said Yates in a released statement on Tuesday. "To carry out their agenda, two of the defendants allegedly purchased purported explosives and a silencer, while the other two defendants took steps to attempt to produce a deadly biological toxin. While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security.''
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the arrest in a story here.
Court documents include Crump allegedly suggesting the ricin could be blown from a car speeding down Cobb Parkway (Highway 41) or Interstates 285 and 75 to attack people in the area.
WSB-TV reported that in court document statement, an FBI agent alleges that Crump suggested to a confidant, “Ya get on the trunk of Atlanta, you get up on the north side, ya get on 41, ya throw it out there right on 285, ya go up 41 or 75, go up 75 to get away from it,” he said, according to the affidavits. “Keep the heater on, that way it keeps the pressure out. Don’t roll your window down.”
On Wednesday in federal court, the suspects said they needed more time to prepare for a bail hearing, which has been scheduled for next week.